The Department of Sociology and Anthropology on 6th December 2018 held a mock PhD defence for students funded by the Borderland Dynamics in East Africa project. The defence was attended by among others Prof. Leif Manger from the University of Bergen in Norway, Prof. Munzoul Assal from the University of Khartoum, Dr David Owiny, Deputy Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training and Dr Eria Olowo Onyango, Coordinator of the project at Makerere.
Three of the students namely Jerome Ntege, Chris Columbus Opesen and Stevens Aguto Odongoh presented their research to which the opponents, Prof. Leif Manger and Prof. Munzoul provided enriching feedback.
Jerome Ntege’s thesis investigates the constructions of Ebola in Bundibugyo District. He underscores the importance of understanding the cultural aspects and community perceptions in managing the epidemic. Chris Opesen’s thesis examines the lived experiences of women with trans-border cultural and reproductive health traditions using Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) at the Pokot Kenya-Uganda border as an ethnographic case study. He among other issues examines the FGM ritual process and the sexual and reproductive health experiences of women who have undergone female genital mutilation. Stevens Aguto Odongoh's thesis titled; "Polluted Boundaries, Contested Sociality: Tracing the Acholi Homestead after LRA War and Displacement in northern Uganda" explores the various processes Acholi employ to reconstitute into a community after war, flight and displacement. The presentations were moderated by Dr Fred Bateganya from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.
Borderland Dynamics in East Africa is a four-year project (2014-2018) aimed at building capacities in research and education in East Africa.
The research being conducted by the students is expected to influence policy and subsequently improve the living conditions of people in borderlands in East Africa.
The long term goal is to empower borderland communities in Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda to voice their special concerns in policy dialogues.
The project is implemented by Makerere University in partnership with the University of Khartoum, University of Addis Ababa, the University of Bergen and Christian Michelsea Institute in Norway. It is sponsored by NORAD and managed by the Departments of Sociology and Anthropology at the collaborating Universities.
By the end of the project in 2018, Makerere University shall have trained four PhDs and 10 Masters students. The University of Addis Ababa shall have trained 10 MA students and 2 PhDs whereas the University of Khartoum, 8 M.As and 1 Post Doctorate.